Steve Rust has accepted the challenge to become managing director at Ingram Micro Australia, arguably one of the channel's toughest jobs.
Rust confirmed industry rumours of his appointment this morning in an interview with ARN.
"It's an excellent opportunity to build the Ingram Micro business in Australia and New Zealand," he said.
Rust is currently taking a break before assuming the helm next Monday. He has spent the last six months on "sabbatical" after leaving Nortel Networks.
When asked how he planned to tackle the significant challenges facing Ingram Micro, Rust indicated resellers have the answer.
"The first thing I'll be doing is finding out what the current situation is by talking to resellers," he said.
Rust himself worked at reseller HiSoft in the 80s, so combined with his vendor experience, he said working for a distributor rounds out his IT industry career.
The popular IT industry figure has had a colourful past in the channel, as MD of Apple Australia, then Bay Networks, followed by a stint as Nortel's enterprise solutions managing director after Nortel's acquisition of Bay Networks.
However, it was his time at Apple that saw him flex some muscle in the channel.
ARN reported in February 1997 Rust sent Apple's authorised resellers a letter and white paper stating they must be 100 per cent faithful to Apple or lose all support.
"If a channel member chooses to sell clones, naturally that's their own right. However, they should not expect a single dollar of Apple's money, nor a single minute of our staff 's time, nor a gram of our expensive and hard-won brand image to help them do it. It's as simple as that," he said at the time.
Rust was also behind Apple's plan to set up Apple Centres throughout Australia in late 1996, and pulled the company's hardware out of Harvey Norman, David Jones and Brashs stores in May 1997.